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Typically, Cambodia is accessible throughout the year but enjoyed best during the dry winter between November and May. Before planning a trip to the Cambodian wonderland, you must check out the best time to visit Cambodia. Versatility, vibrancy and Angkor Wat are three primary elements that make Cambodia a diversity-rich nation. From the Kulem Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in the north to the Gulf of Thailand in the south, Cambodia is a unique embodiment of culture, religion and rich heritage.
However, Cambodia’s proximity to the Equator makes it incredibly hot, especially during summer, which is followed by relentless rains.
Cambodia's tropical climate features high temperatures and heavy rainfall, especially during summers. Like many Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia's hot and humid weather elevates the heat. The best time of year to visit Cambodia is as follows:
The pleasure of enjoying Angkor Wat in the peak dry season is incomparable. The temperate climate during the winter gives a feeling of enjoying the Mediterranean weather in South East Asia. Hence, this period attracts tourists from all over.
Thanks to the dry weather, there are no hindrances to travelling by road. The winter temperature in Cambodia may go upwards of 26 °C closer to the sea and fall as low as 17 °C in the mountainous regions. However, the peak season is also the most expensive time to explore Cambodia. Nevertheless, here are the seven things you cannot miss during this time:
The experience of basking in the sun on the pleasant beaches cannot be missed if you are touring Cambodia in the springtime. The southern part of the country houses a bunch of undiscovered islands like Koh Ta Kiev with the ethereal Serendipity and Ochheuteal Beaches. Besides the visual charm, you should also not miss kayaking and paddleboarding along the Kampot River. Seven ways to enjoy springtime in Cambodia are as follows:
The intense heat during this period makes it difficult to explore Cambodia. Activities like hiking and trekking are difficult due to excess humidity. Apart from lazy beach activities on the southern coastline, most activities tend to become cumbersome in the Cambodian climate in May.
The summers are also characterised by heavy rainfall, usually during the afternoons. However, this rain transforms the overall landscape, and tourists can enjoy the lush green oases, which remain less crowded. However, beware of the mudslides and flooding, especially across the southwestern region.
The summer season presents unique opportunities for budget travellers despite the potential dangers. Airfare and accommodation become cheaper in this season; hence, if you are on a tight budget, you can give Cambodia a try during the summer.
This season also lets you enjoy some major festivals that are celebrated across Cambodia. The Chaul Chnam Khmer in mid-April, Chat Preah Nengkal ceremony in early May and the Visakha Puja in early June are ideal choices to get introduced to Cambodian culture.
From June to September, you can purchase cheap flight tickets and get affordable accommodation. Budget travelling in Cambodia is possible before the onset of the foreign crowd. Owing to the heat and continuous spells of rain, it is not easy to travel around the valleys and cities during summers and monsoons. However, this period extending till September is ideal for backpackers and travellers looking for cheaper travel.
Tourists can also arrange e-visa and choose regional budget airlines to reduce expenses.
Areas around the Cardamom Mountains, including Chi Phat and Stung Areng, present unique options for staying in budget homestays. Experience the cream of Cambodian culture by visiting local family-run homestays that offer authentic home-cooked meals at less than Rs. 500.
During Cambodia’s wet season, consider travelling in long-distance buses across the country for a better view of the greenery. Explore the temples of Angkor for longer periods with passes for multiple days. The Phnom Tamao wildlife rescue centre is an exclusive wildlife refuge that offers options for behind-the-scenes tours like bear-keeping.
Explore the local bazaars adorned with a traditional scarf called karma. Kampot, known for its exclusive export-quality peppers, has now obtained a UN Geographic Indicator. An impressive tour around the pepper plantations can end with a delicious pepper-themed menu.
Before finalising your Cambodia trip, there are certain things you should know.
Here are certain tips that you need to remember while planning the best time to visit Cambodia:
Cambodians, in general, are very conversant in English. When travelling to Siem Reap or other cities in Cambodia, you can try conversing in English or try learning some basic phrases in the Khmer language. Some basic words and phrases include:
Like many Asian cultures, hand gestures can also help communicate, express gratitude or greet someone in Cambodia. However, in most cases, English will serve your purpose of communication.
Tourists believe Cambodia is one of the most hospitable nations in Asia, which is adorned with beautiful landscapes and ecstatic beaches. A rich history, vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine are ready to welcome you. Make sure you check the best time to visit Cambodia before travelling.